Pictures From Jan-Feb 2020 - It's All About Having Fun!!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Thursday 8-30 Visiting Mike and Sue Land

Last night when I went to bed I left the windows open because there was a nice breeze. About 4:00 in the morning I was awoken with something hitting the roof that sounded like rain. I told Larry I needed to climb down and close the windows because it was starting to rain. He said it wasn't rain so I went back to sleep. When I woke up again I found out that I was mistaken, it must have been dew dripping from the trees.

After breakfast we went for an hour walk around the campground. The temperature was cool enough that we wore jackets. We walked through a couple of closed camping loops and down to the boat ramp. When we got to the ramp we saw a couple of fishermen fishing from the docks. The lake was a lot calmer and the Canadian Geese had moved to a different area to graze.

A beautiful view of Turner Lake

A crane enjoying its morning on the lake

Larry waiting for me to finish taking pictures

We spent the afternoon in the Minnie reading. Larry started another book and I started a book. We walked over to the bathroom and took a shower. 

Reading is fun

In the evening we met up with Larry's old high school friend Mike and his wife Sue. We hadn't seen them in eight years. We went to dinner and then went back to their home and had dessert. We visited with them for a few hours and had a great time.  

Larry, me and Mike

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wednesday 8-29 Overcast Day

Overcast Day

It rained all night and didn't lighten up until early morning. When we woke up the roads were wet so we hung around the campground until they dried a bit. We also wanted to make sure the rain was gone.

It was overcast all day with a little sprinkle now and then. The cloud covering kept the temperature in the 70's and a little breeze which felt wonderful.

We had a short day of driving. We drove 111 miles on two lane highways through quaint towns and villages. The towns and villages kept the speed down so it took longer. We were driving through the Village of Big Rock, when it started to sprinkle. Larry saw a sign for a city park so we went there. The park was beautiful with soccer fields, a paved walking trail, pavilion, playground, bathroom and a dog park. We stayed there about an hour and a half letting the rain move by. While there we walked around, had lunch and read. After lunch we were back on the road. We only needed to go another 64 miles but we had to go through more small towns so it took awhile but it was a nice drive.

Swings, diggers and other animals to ride in the park

Playscape at Village of Big Rock Park

Our destination was Chain O Lakes State Park, we had visited this park eight years ago. We're going to be camped here for a couple of nights. It's a big park with a lot of sites with power. We are staying in Fox Den Loop. The sites have a lot of trees and plenty of room between each one. The restrooms are nearby and have showers.

Chain O Lakes State Park borders on three natural lakes (Grass, Marie and Nippersink) and the Fox River, which connects to the other seven lakes (Bluff, Fox, Pistakee, Channel, Petite, Catherine and Redhead) that completes the chain of lakes. The park has seven picnic areas and four trail systems. It has camping and is very popular for fishing. 

After dinner we walked around the campground and down to the boat ramp for about 45 minutes. The boat trailers parking area is huge. There are two ramps with two lanes in each one. There are docks close by to tie up your boat so you can park your trailer. There a channel that takes you out to the lakes. The water has a lot of moss in it. As we walked around we saw Canadian Geese. We had a very pleasant walk. When we got back I finished up my steps.  

Canadian Geese enjoying themselves

Boats tied up to the docks

The channel to get to the lakes


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tuesday 8-28 The Rain Has Come

The rain has come

The weather report indicated a strong possibility of rain late today so we left Forbes State Park early this morning hoping to get to our next destination before the rain.

As we drove we saw a lot of farm fields and drove through small towns. When we got to Vandalia we stopped to take a picture of the third Statehouse in Illinois. It was a beautiful building but we couldn't walk through it because it was too early. After taking a few pictures I came back and noticed that one of the exhaust pipes was hanging down. Larry drove to NAPA Auto Parts Store and removed it. He asked if they knew where he could find an exhaust repair shop. They told him where to find a repair shop called McDowell's Service. Off to McDowell's we went. We were told that it would only take 45 minutes but they had to send out for a part so it ended up taking over two hours. It's a very nice facility and has a lot of big tow trucks. We were very happy they got us right in.

The Third Statehouse in Vandalia
The Minnie getting its exhaust pipe fixed

Larry checking out the work area

By the time we left McDowell's it was close to lunchtime so we drove to the next town called Pana. They had a super nice city park with a big playground, a beautiful bridge that went over a pond, a fountain, a big ramada for group gatherings, a swimming pool, very nice memorial honoring people who lost their lives in the military, a walking trail, restrooms and ball fields. We stopped there and had lunch.

The playground at Pana City Park

The bridge that goes over the pond with a fountain

We were about 120 miles from our next destination and rain clouds were building up so we decided to find a place for the night. We found that Starved Rock State Park was just 30 miles away so that's where we went. We were driving through the park when Larry remembered we had stayed here when we visited Illinois eight years ago. 

Starved Rock State Park is a huge park. There is a visitor center, hiking trails and campgrounds. The hiking trails are by the visitor center but the campground is a few miles away. The campground has two loops. One loop has a lot of trees to give you privacy and keep you cool. There is a bathroom with showers. The other loop is smaller and doesn't have as many trees. All the sites are a nice size with a fire ring, picnic table and power. There is no water at the sites.

Camping at Starved Rock State Park

We found a site and filled out the payment envelope, then we walked down to the booth and paid. On the way back it was thundering and started to rain. It only lasted a few minutes. I made dinner and then I walked around to get my steps. It was very muggy and by the time I got back I was soaked with sweat. Later the rain came back with a vengeance, wind, lightning, thunder and driving rain. The good news was it cooled things off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Monday 8-27 Camping in Illinois

A Wonderful Day

We started the day in Arkansas, we drove through Missouri and ended in Illinois, about 417 miles, took around nine hours. We drove mainly on four lanes highways and interstates. As we drove we saw a lot of farm fields of corn, cotton and other crops we weren’t sure of. We saw a few crop dusters flying over the fields. At times the roads were very rough. I slept most of the way. We crossed over the Mississippi River to get into Illinois.

Entering into Illinois via a bridge over the Mississippi River

Crop duster

We spent the night at Stephen A. Forbes State Park in the Oak Ridge Campground. The park is very nice, it has a lake, hiking trail, play area with swings and a playscape. There are a couple of RV loops with power and water. The lake has docks, swimming area and picnic areas. There are lots of trees and the roads are paved. There is no internet or cell service.

Camping in the forest

Play area
            Staircase that goes to dock

I walked around the campground to get my steps in. As I walked I took pictures and climbed a staircase to get to a dock on the lake. We spent most of the time relaxing inside considering it was hot and humid. We had a great day.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sunday 8-26 On the Road

We were going to start out fall trip tomorrow but there were going to be some storms along the path we are headed so we started a day early to try and avoid the rain. We don't mind the rain as long as we have a place to stay with power, especially this time of year. when it is hot and muggy.

We did a long day of driving on interstates. We drove 430 miles from Belton Texas to Little Rock Arkansas. We started at 7:00 and arrived in Little Rock at 4:00. We camped at the Downtown Riverside RV Park, it is across the Arkansas River from The William J. Clinton Presidential Library. It's a very nice park with 61 full hook up sites. It has restrooms with showers, clubhouse with washers and dryers, dump station, free WiFi and a boat ramp.

Camping at Downtown Riverside RV Park

It was hot and humid when we arrived so we sat under the air conditioner. After dinner Larry and I went for a walk. There is an old railroad bridge over the river that they converted it into a pedestrian bridge for bicycles and walkers. We took the bridge over the river to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and downtown Little Rock. As we were walking we saw a lot of other people walking around and riding their bikes. We walked for about a half hour and returned to the Minnie. Larry went inside and I went for a walk on my own. I walked back over the bridge and along a boardwalk that went around a small wetland. When I was walking the boardwalk I saw a big snake going across it. When I was walking back to the Minnie the sun was starting to go down so the lights on the bridge and other bridges that went across the river were turning on. When it got dark Larry and I went out and took pictures of the lights. The new camera took outstanding pictures of the lights. We had a very nice stay in Little Rock.  

William J. Clinton Presidential Library

Pedestrian bridge
Downtown Little Rock

The pedestrian bridge at night

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Saturday 8/25/18 We're ready to go

I'm excited

We spent the day finishing up getting the Minnie ready. We started the day by taking the Minnie for a ride and filling it up with gas, then I finished loading our clothes and the rest of the food. I made the bed, swept the Minnie out and cleaned the windows. 

When Larry was putting the motorcycle carrier on the Minnie he noticed a few of the mounts that hold the wires for the lights had come off, the adhesive pads had failed. He took the carrier back off and removed all of the mounts, he then removed all of the adhesive pads and replaced them with 3M automotive double sided tape and then refastened the wires. Then I helped him put the carrier back on the Minnie. Next we loaded the motorcycle and strapped it down. Afterwards we covered the bike and strapped the cover down. Now we're ready to go on our trip.

The motorcycle strapped in for a ride

The Minnie and motorcycle are ready for the trip

In the evening we watched an Amazon movie called Soloist. It starred Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. It was taken from a novel about homeless people. It was a good movie. We had another busy day getting ready. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Friday 8-24 Summer is still here

Another 100 degree day

I'm ready for the summer to end. It got to 100 degrees again. 

We started the day out by going to town. The car needed a bath so we took it to Mister Car Wash. After it went through the car wash we wiped it down. Then we swung by Auto Zone to return the valve extensions we didn't use. Next was the UPS Store to pick up Larry's last item from this months Seeds Program which was a Milwaukee hole saw kit. On the way home we stopped at Jack n Jill and got a couple of donuts.

When we got home Larry played with the Milwaukee hole saw kit. He took pictures, wrote a review, and submitted the review. While he was doing this I did some Sudoku puzzles.

The Milwaukee Dozer Kit

After lunch I started doing laundry and loaded some items in the refrigerator in the Minnie.

Doing laundry

In the evening we watched an Amazon movie called Fugitive Pieces. The movie was about a child escaping Poland during World War II, he ends up in Greece before going to Canada. It was an ok movie, but slow. Afterwards I worked out with Just Dance for a half hour. 

Relaxing in front of the tv

Our day wasn't as busy as yesterday. We are slowly getting ready for our trip. LIFE IS GOOD!!!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday 8-23 Busy Getting Ready

Busy Day
We kept busy most of the day continuing to get ready for our trip. 

Remember awhile back I mentioned that Larry got a tire pressure monitor that tells you the pressure of your tires and warns you if one is low, he has been testing it on the car and it worked perfect but when he went to install it on the Minnie the sensors would not screw onto the valve stem extensions. We tried to find ones that would work at: Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Auto Zone and NAPA Auto Parts, none of them had the correct ones. Today we stopped by A-Line Auto Parts in Belton and they had what we needed.

The next stop was HEB to do our grocery shopping for the trip and restock on household items we needed. The bakery in HEB has been baking different kinds of donuts. Last week we tried a banana and walnut donut and a pineapple coconut donut. Today they didn't have the pineapple coconut donut so we picked up a birthday cake donut and a banana and walnut donut. We had them for our dessert after lunch. Then we stopped by the UPS Store to pick up our mail.

Doing Errands

When we got home I loaded some of the groceries into the Minnie. Larry got the tire pressure monitor working, cleaned the battery posts on both batteries and built an electrical adapter for running accessories directly from the battery.

In the evening Larry and Patricia met up with us and we all went to Sun City for the Sundancers Thursday A dance.We had two squares and two extra couples. We had a super time dancing to challenging tapes. We had a busy day.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wednesday 8-22 Getting Ready for Fall Trip

Our Minnie

For years we have been going on a fall and spring trip. Each trip is normally 7 to 8 weeks. We have explored and visited all of the lower 48 United States and four Canadian provinces. We enjoying going to places that have hiking trails. 

Today we went to the storage center to get the Minnie. We're going to start on our fall trip Monday so we need to get it ready. I started loading it and I made a list of items we need. Larry started doing his normal maintenance. We worked on getting the Minnie ready for an hour or so.

For dinner I made some more barbecued beef cups. In the evening we went to Georgetown to dance with the Shirts 'n' Skirts club. The club gives you a dance card and every dance you get it initialed, the sixth dance is free, tonight we danced for free. The dance started out with five squares and ended up with one square. Brad only called six tips because everyone left after the second plus tip. Brad did an excellent job of calling. Martha did a good job of cuing the line dancing in between the tips. We danced all the tips except for one and I danced the line dancing. We had fun.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tuesday 8-21 On the Lake

Boating on Lake Belton

We woke up to sunshine and no wind. We loaded up the boat and went to the lake. The lake was so flat you could go anywhere and do whatever water sport you wanted. We decided to do a set of wake surfing and then we went swimming. We were on the lake about an hour or so.

Wake surfing down the lake

Wake surfing and having fun

Look how flat the lake was

In the afternoon I worked on some Sudoku puzzles and took a nap. Larry read. 

When it was time for dinner I cooked a new dish called Barbecue Beef Cups. It's very easy to make, you need ground beef, barbecue sauce, cheese and biscuits. They came out great and tasted delicious. 

Barbecue Beef Cups

In the evening we watched the YouTube videos we follow. We also watched Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence via Amazon. It was a Who Done It series. There were three episodes of about an hour each. There were twist and turns and at the end we were surprised. It was ok but I personally thought it went on too long. Afterwards I worked out with Just Dance for a half hour. We had fun relaxing day.    

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monday 8-20 Jury Duty

Jury Duty

I started the day out by going to the Bell County Justice Center for jury duty. After going through all the rules the judge had people who thought they may be exempt line up, then he talked to each of them individually to determine their eligibility. Afterwards the clerks office collected all the jury summons forms and went to the back room to decide which people would be on the jury. I was not chosen, I was back at the house by 10:30.

While I was gone Larry rode the motorcycle to the post office to put our mail on hold. When he got home he did some minor maintenance on the motorcycle, it is ready for our trip.

We spent the afternoon relaxing. Larry read and I did some Sudoku.

In the evening we went to Sun City to dance with the Sundancers to Brad Caldwell. The dance started out with six squares and by the end it had one square. That's normal considering Brad starts calling at 4:30 for their square dancing class. The dance starts at 6:30 with a Grand March and announcements. We didn't have enough people for an A tip but the last couple of plus tips Brad made more challenging by put us in positions we're not usually in. We had a lot of fun dancing with friends.